Growing up, all Samatha Power wanted to be was a sports journalist. Her path, however, as anyone who has followed the career of the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations knows, took a radically different turn.
In her 2019 memoir, The Education of an Idealist (Dey Street Books), Power recounts her journey from her childhood in Ireland to her role at the United Nations during the Obama administration. Along the way she worked as a war correspondent during the Balkan wars in the 1990s, wrote the Pulitzer Prize–winning book “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (Basic Books), and served in President Obama’s cabinet as a human rights adviser. Since leaving government in 2017, Power has taught at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School in Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, legal scholar and writer Cass Sunstein, and their two young children.
How did a sports-loving girl who emigrated to America at age 9 become one of the country’s most prominent advocates for human rights? U.S. Catholic sat down with Power to talk about her Catholic faith and the idealism that fuels her tireless activism.
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Samantha Power is a former US Ambassador to the United Nations.